Kees Rijvers and Irene Camber-Corno

Two blog entries ago we noted that, following the death of canoeist Cees Koch on February 13, footballer Kees Rijvers, born May 27, 1926, who took part in the tournament at the 1948 London Games, became the oldest living Dutch Olympian. Rijvers played 33 matches with the national team and most of his professional career was in France, where he won the Division 1 title in 1957 and the French Cup in 1962. He later became a well-known coach with both professional leagues and the Dutch national team.

(Jan Willem Pennink)

Unfortunately, we have learned the Rijvers died this month at the age of 97. Because both Lies Bonnier (born July 8, 1925) and Cees Gravesteijn (born April 21, 1928) were last known living in 2012, we believe that the oldest living Dutch Olympian is now rower Jan Willem Pennink, born March 31, 1929. Pennik represented his country in the coxed fours event at the 1952 Helsinki Games, where his crew was eliminated in the round one repêchage.

Additionally, we recently celebrated the 98th birthday of Italian fencer Irene Camber-Corno, born February 12, 1926. Camber-Corno competed in four editions of the Games – 1948, 1952, 1960, and 1964 – in both individual and team foil events. Her greatest success came in 1952, when she won the individual foil title, and she captured a second medal, bronze, with the foil team in 1960. She also earned eight medals – including two golds – in foil tournaments at the World Championships from 1952 through 1962. By career she worked for a chemical corporation, but also taught mathematics and chemistry. She turned to coaching later in life and was with the national team in that capacity at the 1972 Summer Games.

(Daniel Dagallier)

At the time of her death, Camber-Corno was the oldest living Italian Olympic medalist, Olympic fencing medalist, and survivor of the 1964 Tokyo Games. In the first category, the titleholder is now Giuseppe Moioli, born August 8, 1927, who took part in the coxless fours rowing tournament from 1948 through 1956 and won gold in London. The oldest living Olympic fencing medalist is now Daniel Dagallier, born June 11, 1926, who competed in épée in 1952 and 1956 and took bronze with the French team at the latter edition. Finally, Hungarian sport shooter Zoltán Sándor, born March 28, 1926, is now the oldest survivor of the 1964 Tokyo Games.

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